How much would you charge a Take That fan to rent your spare room?
A GUEST house owner says Wearsiders should rent out spare rooms to cash in on Take That mania.
Pam Tate is still inundated with calls every day from people looking for accommodation for the Stadium of Light gigs, despite being fully booked for the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend for months.
But the businesswoman says more could be done to keep money generated by the band’s four gigs in Sunderland pockets.
Some fans are struggling to find any accommodation available in the city from May 27 to 31, and have been driven to stay in Durham and Newcastle instead.
“Locals could probably make some serious money offering spare rooms on eBay,” said Pam.
“In the 50s there were many B’n’Bs who only offered accommodation in the summer and for footy matches, and their home was left to the family for the rest of the year.”
She said tent sites on areas such as Seaburn Recreation field, or even a ferry moored on the River Wear, could also help to plug the accommodation gap.
“Demand like this is unprecedented. And you can’t just build hotels for events that happen three times a year, but the lack of accommodation means people are coming into the city for the gig and then going away again that night.
“I think more could be done to keep them in the city to bring more money into our economy.”
Like all hotels and guest houses in the city, Pam has been inundated with room requests since it was announced in October that Take That would kick off their Progress Live tour in the city.
“As soon as the gigs were announced I started getting calls, possibly ten calls and ten emails a day.
“People are desperate for accommodation that is close to the Stadium of Light, some even offer to sleep on the floor.
“I feel sorry for them and have been advising them to speak to Tourist Information.”
The Take That concerts, and Kings of Leon gig on June 17, have been hailed as a major coup for the city, bringing 250,000 to 300,000 visitors to Sunderland.
It is expected that an extra £18million in revenue will be ploughed into the city as a result of the music gigs.
Chris Alexander, head of culture and tourism at Sunderland Council, said: “Demand for tickets to see Take That in their first tour since Robbie Williams rejoined the band has been incredible.
“It is a major coup for the city that the band will kick off this tour at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, and not only that, but the city will be playing host to the first four concerts.
“Hotels and bed and breakfasts have been fully booked since the details of the concerts were announced, and the Tourist Information Centre has been inundated with queries from people all over the world.
“The concerts have really put the spotlight on Sunderland and it‘s fantastic news for everyone in the city.”